How to fix those dark underexposed shots in Lightroom

Jun 9, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to fix those dark underexposed shots in Lightroom

Jun 9, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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We’ve all been there at some point or another. We’ve misjudged our exposure, knocked a dial, the sun’s disappeared behind a cloud, or maybe our flash just hasn’t recycled yet. Whatever the reason, we’ve all had underexposed shots that we would actually quite like if we could better see what’s going on in them.

Well, in this video, commercial food photographer Scott Choucino shows us how he recovers those occasional underexposed shots using Lightroom. These same techniques will also work when using Adobe Camera Raw into Photoshop, too.

While you’re never going to get the same level of quality that you would have done if you’d exposed the shot properly to begin with, it’ll still be good for plenty of tasks, such as social media or web use. Sure, you won’t be able to make huge highly detailed prints, but raw files offer a lot of latitude these days for underexposure recovery.

As well as cameras offering greater dynamic range and shadow detail, the software, too, has also become much better at recovering that underexposed detail, too. Capture One and other applications also offer similar capabilities, so don’t think you can only do this in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Of course, it’s still better to try not to make the mistakes that lead to accidental underexposure in the first place.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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